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Year 6 students learnt the art of being active listeners as part of their training to lead Wenona’s Junior School peer support program.
The eight-week program runs during Term 2 and will focus the topic of resilience. Year 6 students who do not already hold a leadership position lead one of 24 groups with 13 students from Kindergarten to Year 6 in each.
“Peer support is a fantastic program,” said Mrs Vicki Burkett, who trains the Year 6 students for their roles.
“It brings the group together as a whole. They can see that there are other leadership roles that are important to the school. The tone of the school is set by Year 6 so the whole school is affected by their ability to be good role models.
“Last year we looked at values and friendships, this year is resiliency. Each girl is given a peer leaders learning guide and today they’ve learnt how to be active listeners and communicate through their body language and tone of voice.”
One listening exercise involved drawing a picture and describing it to another in pairs to see of their partner could guess what the image was. In another activity, students passed a coin using only one hand to illustrate the value of perseverance.
“What we are trying to develop in the girls is that they are resilient and persistent, and that through doing that they show empathy to others and are inclusive of other people,” Mrs Burkett said. “The main mantra is that if you are interested you are interesting. If you listen to understand, not listen to reply, you can be a good active listener.”
Grace, 12: “Learning, talking to everybody in the group and getting their opinions on the topics that we’re learning about.”
Siena, 11: “I’m excited to interact with younger kids and teach them all the skills they need to learn.”
Lucy, 11: “Playing with girls in younger grades and learning.”
Emily, 11: “I’m excited to just meet the little kids and get to know how they think and get to understand them more.”